The Insurrection

A graphic story in 18 woodcuts by Víctor Rebuffo

The Artist was born in Turin, Italy in 1903 and migrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina with his family at the age of three. He studied at the National Academy and emerged with a degree in 1926. He immediately began teaching drawing there, a position he held until 1943, when he became Artistic Director of the Peuser Publishing Company in the same city. For that company he illustrated several books with his original prints, among them Gauchos Judíos (Jewish Gauchos) by Alberto Gerchunoff, Reinaldo Solar by Rómulo Gallegos, and an edition of the four Gospels of the New Testament. He remained active as a printmaker throughout his life and won several prizes.

This work was created during the years 1952-53, and it tells a tense story of relations between labor and capital. It is not based on any specific event but rather real occurrences transformed in the artist's imagination. At the time these wood blocks were made, Juan Perón was in power. Since Perón saw himself as the perfect embodiment of workers' desires, no suggestion of labor discontent was tolerated outside of official channels. Hence the artist kept the blocks safely hidden away and they were never printed until 1978 at the suggestion of Albino Fernández, one of the country's leading printmakers. La Rebelión was published together with several other graphic novelettes by Rebufo in a limited edition book under the title Contra Luz (Backlighting).

The influences on this work include Frans Masreel, who also made graphic novelettes that told stories of political and social struggle. Rebuffo's style however, is more dynamic, with curved lines, elongated figures, and at times chaotic compositions. Other influences are earlier social realist Argentine printmakers such as Pompeyo Audivert, and the Peruvian colonial artist Guaman Poma. This website contains pictures of the 18 woodcuts of La Rebelión, scanned at actual size from a publisher's proof copy.

Go to the Artist's Statement

Go to the first image


The site creator acknowledges the assistance of the artist's descendants. Inquiries about the book "Contraluz" may be directed to Editorial Albino Y Asociados, Mendes de Andes 1370, 1405 Buenos Aires, Argentina.;